Symbolic Boundaries
Acrylic paintings by UNC Asheville student Louise Davis

Louise Davis is a junior sociology and anthropology student at UNC Asheville.  The exhibit consists of 18 paintings inspired by the concept of symbolic boundaries.

The exhibit will be on display in Ramsey Library's third floor gallery April 3-27, 2009.

Press Release

Artist's Statement

In October last year, I began painting these grids when I studied symbolic boundaries in social theory.  Symbolic boundaries are barriers that are constructed by social values or norms that in turn, create dichotomies.  In order to understand the real meaning beneath dichotomies and the ideologies that are used to support them, it is useful to study boundary work.  As I studied the boundary work involved in female sexual identities of local burlesque performances, I quickly began to pay more attention to the deeply embedded boundary work that takes place around me on a daily basis.

These grid paintings represent the dynamic and messy nature of the boundary work that we do on internal and external levels every day.  There are a number of ways to participate in boundary work, such as: recognizing boundaries, constructing new ones, enforcing them, repairing them, transforming them, and destroying or permeating them.  Some lines are conforming, some fluid, some transparent, and some are even deviant or crooked.

The colors and lines of these grids are like people to me.  They are variably bold, always beautiful, full of surprises, and totally imperfect!  These grids of boundaries are also meant to reflect the interconnectedness of our everyday experiences and the intersubjectivity of the reality we all share.


As a junior, pursuing a major in sociology and anthropology, I am largely a self-taught artist.  Art runs through my veins!  I love people, and the relationships in my life never cease to stimulate me with new ideas, challenges, and opportunities to grow as an artist and student.  As an only child with ADHD, making art has been a way for me to heal from feeling rather isolated in my childhood. 

Louise Davis




Updated 31 March 2009. Comments to the Library Web Team.

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